As Sylvia Boorstein frequently reminds us, the moment in which the mind acknowledges ‘This isn’t what I wanted, but it’s what I got’ is the point at which suffering disappears. We are here now, the future is always uncertain. Our practice is to stay grounded and be open to what arises in awareness
The practice of mindfulness is very simple.
You stop, you breathe, and you still your mind.
You come home to yourself so that you can enjoy the here and now in every moment
Thich Nhat Hahn, Silence
Those of you who have been following the blog for a while know that I like the teachings of Ajahn Sucitto and the Thai Forest tradition, so I turned to one of his works this week on how to work with the interior feeling states provoked at times like this. The practice of meditation is much more than just calming, but moves into clearly seeing the dynamics behind our changing mind states:
What feels wrong at this time? What shouldn’t be here right now? Whatever it is, accept it. The more you don’t want it, the bigger it gets. How do you want things to be right now? Relinquish it. The more you want it, the farther you push it away. Daily life practice is to keep working against that bhava-vibhava, especially the vibhava [the urge to be nothing] that keeps saying “I’m fed up with this. I’ve had enough of this. I don’t want to be in this situation. I can’t stand this another minute!” Accept it; Sidestep the topic and welcome the energy as it arises. I find this very helpful when the mind panics. Then as I look into that, I see that it all nestles down inside that sense of lack, of being deprived of my space, my time or my peace of mind. The cry for peace of mind can get pretty aggressive when it comes out of the place of hanging on!
Ajahn Sucitto, Parami, Ways to Cross Life’s Floods
We have a choice these days: to feed our fear – and there is a lot being spread on social media – or to drop the mind into moments of rest…
When we meditate, we are training the mind
to stop feeding a pain pattern
Ruth King, author and Meditation teacher, Soothing the Hot Coals of Rage
The mind is exactly this tree, that grass….
without thought or feeling both disappear
Ikkyu, 1394 – 1481 , Zen Buddhist monk and poet.
A monk asked Shito “How does one become free?”. Shito replied, “Who has bound you?”
That’s the question, who binds you? Don’t look outside, look into the mind, investigate the opinionated mind. Become familiar with its opinions and judgments; then you wont be so vulnerable to them. Our effort is to release the mind from its ordinary opinions and see revealed a new universe. Nothing binds us but the habituated mind.
Katherine Thanas, The Truth of This Life
What a liberation to realize the the “voice in my head” is not who I am
Who am I then?
The one who sees that